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Starting Strength in the Real World

Starting Strength Olympic Weightlifting: Clean and Press Rules

by Mark Rippetoe | May 18, 2021

1972 clean and press

What follows are the rules for the Clean and Press written by Mark Rippetoe for the Starting Strength Olympic lifting meet to be held at Wichita Falls Athletic Club on July 24, 2021. The original three lifts will be contested at this meet – the clean and press, the snatch, and the clean and jerk.

The complete rules can be found here: Starting Strength Olympic Weightlifting Rules

Clean and Press

  1. The bar starts on the platform, with the lifter behind the bar, facing the head judge. The lifter shall grip the barbell with both hands, and in one continuous motion lift the bar from the platform to the shoulders. Any motion of the legs and feet is permitted. The bar may rest on the shoulders or in the hands. The feet must return to a position parallel to the bar on the shoulders, with the knees and hips fully extended and motionless. No other part of the body may touch the platform during the clean.

  2. After the clean has been completed, the lifter shall press the bar upward to a position of full elbow extension overhead. No downward motion of the hips may be used during this motion. The bar is pressed overhead until the elbows are completely extended, with the bar in a position behind a vertical line from the most anterior aspect of the armpit to the floor. Failure to attain this position constitutes a missed attempt. Any uneven extension of the elbows must be corrected by the time lockout occurs, such that both elbows lock out simultaneously. The press is complete when the bar is motionless overhead under the lifter's control. After the press is completed, the bar shall be lowered to the platform with both hands in contact with the bar.

  3. After the press is initiated, any change in foot position, any bending of the knees that directly contributes to the upward movement of the bar (a “push press”), or any active plantar flexion of the ankles disqualifies the attempt. disqualifies the attempt. Any athlete who is anatomically unable to fully extend one or both elbows must report this condition to the referees before the start of the press competition.

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